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Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

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default Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Compostwoman on 10th July 2010, 7:15 pm

By popular demand, a thread about the types of spuds we grow.

It would help if people also say what type of soil they are growing them in, if they water them or not, feed them etc etc .

Varieties are definitely a good thing to put in your post, along with any positive or negative tasting notes.

Please though, can we have recipes in the cooking section, otherwise it will all get a bit confusing!


Last edited by Compostwoman on 10th July 2010, 7:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Compostwoman on 10th July 2010, 7:21 pm

I am currently lifting Charlotte

A second early waxy salad spud grown in my own compost so not really any soil type , well enriched with humus I guess you would call it!

Good as new, can fall to bits if bigger than tennis ball size, good to slice for sauteing, and for potato salad. Sweet, waxy and slightly nutty.

We use these as our early new spuds, and then move on to Nicola and Verity as our main storing spuds to see us through the winter.

have given up on maincrop because of the blight endemic around here.

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Sparhawk on 10th July 2010, 9:00 pm

I am growing, , don't really know but its the same variety as the farmer sells at our local farmers market ,

on the basis that:

1. if they were grown locally then they are pretty much adapted to our local climate.
2. they are really nice tasting spuds
3. if they are selling them then they should be good croppers
4. they were cheaper than getting seed spuds (for the volume that I wanted)

I am growing them in a mixture of homemade compost & the new topsoil that I had for the raised bed but in 2 stacks of three tyres 4 spuds to a stack.

They aren't ready to lift yet, but the plants have been very vigorous & certainly look better than the failures I've had for the past couple of years from supermarket ones...

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Dandelion on 10th July 2010, 10:16 pm

Lady Cristl (I keep spelling it differently...). The majority are in the ground (heavy clay, in ground which was lawn last year, with compost dug in and organic potato fertilizer when planted). I have watered well several times but left them to fend for themselves apart from this. I am also trying some in old compost sacks, growing in a mixture of garden soil, New Horizons and homemade compost, with potato fertilizer added to the mix as I topped up the bags. I have harvested a row of the ones in the ground, but the ones in bags have fresh green foliage still so I have left them (despite being planted a good few weeks before the others!) The yield hasn't been amazing, but I haven't pampered them...
I really like waxy potatoes - these are waxyish if cooked for a short time but you have to watch them or they overcook. I find the skins bitter, and they don't scrape off.

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Mike on 11th July 2010, 12:52 pm

After many years of not growing them we have a row doing great.

Why? Well like sparhawk says, local adapted. Except we are in an area that does commercial potatoes and what's best for that not necessary best for home garden. It's why we haven't been doing potatoes in recent years just like we don't do sweet corn -- can go down the road a bit and buy from the farmer.

But ----- in a special gorcery that does a lot of local we found some lovely "Russets"?* grown in a farm in NY state not far from here. Russets grown in the east? This farmer has some Russets he's selected so that they will grow in our climate? On a commercial scale?

They looked so lovely, "scab" free (why Russets can't normally be grown around here) that we had to give them a try, got enough so that some would likely have "gone by" before we ate them all and those we planted.



*
We think they are Russets. They look like and cook like Russets. If they are actually something else makes no difference as they can certainly be used as Russets would be.

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Chilli-head on 12th July 2010, 11:44 am

I try different varieties almost every year ... this year it is Ulster Chieftain (early), Blue Danube (early main) and Golden Wonder (main). These were chosen because they claim slug resistance, except for the Blue Danube which is from Sárvári (home of the Sharpo varieties) but without sufficient blight resistance to carry a "Sharpo" name.

The Ulster chieftain so far are better flavour that the Blue danube. The Blue Danube look pretty when raw, but the nice colour fades when cooked. The Sárvári potatoes are not particularly celebrated for flavour. No slug holes in anything yet, but probably more down to the lack of rain than the varieties ! Not tried the Golden wonder yet, but they have made very healthy looking plants.

Mine get planted all in one go, in mid March (usually on my birthday !). I dig a trench one spit deep, put in a few inches of manure or compost, whichever is to hand, pop the potatoes in, then backfill. Leave for a few months, dig up and eat. That's it. No watering unless it is really very dry. No need for ridging - I've never been convinced that it is necessary*, I just plant them deep enough to start with. Potato tubers have a lot of stored energy, and will make it up from quite a long way down. I don't want them to be up too early and get frosted.

*Commercial potato fields are quite different; potatoes there grow in pronounced ridges, but mostly to allow mechanical harvesting - the soil in the ridge is destoned, so that the whole ridge can be lifted and the potatoes removed by sifting.
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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Sparhawk on 12th July 2010, 3:40 pm

Chilli-head wrote:I try different varieties almost every year ... and Golden Wonder (main)... Not tried the Golden wonder yet, but they have made very healthy looking plants.

Oh wow, do you have to grow different coloured ones for the different flavours:

ready salted, cheese & onion, prawn cocktail etc...

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Guest on 13th July 2010, 1:41 pm

Potatoes we grow have to be ‘fit for purpose’. This means:
~ good flavour
~good for uses that we actual do
~length of growing time and
~storage quality.

For the last 5 years I have grown and stored sufficient potatoes for the whole year. Because they are such an important part of our diet I have settled on 4 main types that I know work for us but I do like to try others if I can exchange some chitters. We get blight some years starting in late June. If we don’t get blight its dry so we get Colorado Beatle.

It is important for me to get an early crop. All our vegetable beds are in a frost hollow which is 2.5 – 3 deg C colder at night than at the house level (where there is not soil). So the first crop is grow in the top 2/3s of oil barrels at the house level. My normal variety is Anais, an early to very early French variety. I get my first crop by our birthdays in the 2nd week of May.

The rest of the Anais are planted in the main beds that are manure and compost enhanced clay/river loam with limestone rocks. It is a good flavour and is often eaten as a plate of potatoes with butter and mint! They are dug up and immediately cooked only. This bed crop is planted in a warm week in 2nd half of February (this year just into March) and are covered carefully to protect from frost, using fleece normally but also tarpaulins when necessary. Anais are prone to hollow heart so have to be eaten quite rapidly. They do not store.

This year I had some Arran Pilot English variety as an early. They were good cropper and nice fresh flavour to start with but became bitter so had to be harvested and eaten quite quickly.

After the early we switch to a medium grower. We are using Charlotte for this. It is an old French variety that is fairly resistant. It is a consistently medium sized potato that cooks well for salads and is excellent sautéed. It is a fairly good keeper that last until Christmas.

We also grow Emeraude which is a long oval potato that we use for chips. It is a good keeper and will last until end of January when we cook up the last stores in multiple batches of par cooked chips and freeze them.

The last important variety for us is Samba which produces some good sized tubers and are excellent for baked potatoes. They are also a very good keeper and these will store until spring. Once they have ended we are on to the chips from the freezer and then back to earlies again!

I trench down and plant the (not early) potatoes deep and described by Chilli-Head. I do earth up though first by infilling and then once to make a mound as the main crops I grow do make the third layer of tuber growth if left long enough.

We are harvesting the rest of our potatoes next week for storage.

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Guest on 3rd August 2010, 7:39 pm

Spuds ... I grow, Charlotte, Pink fir Apple and (this year) Swift. I wanted to grow Kestrel but couldn't find any organic ones.

Am growing in those spud-bags this year ... so far so good, and it's freed up a load of space, I NEVER have enough room

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Lizbuff13 on 4th August 2010, 7:06 am

Okay....I might get thrown out of this forum for being so inept in the knowledge of potato growing....but this is what happened......I bought some organic yams and red potatoes......I let them sit in a bag on my kitchen floor off to the corner.....one day I noticed that perhaps I might want to do something with them as they were starting to sprout and I could see LEAVES already! They both, (yams and potatoes) were still quite firm with no decay....so I cleaned them up, cut off the sprouted ends and while I was waiting for them to cook up for dinner, I marched out to the garden and planted them in a row, where some of my leeks didn't come up! The soil is wonderful.....there has been a garden here for 100 years....This all just happened on Sunday. It will be a miracle if we have enough summer left to grow any potatoes, but I thought I would try....I have at least 60-70 days before the first frost.....What do you experienced potato growers think? Can potatoes grow that fast?
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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Guest on 4th August 2010, 9:05 am

Chuckle Lizbuff, Spuds can grow that fast, depending on variety, light levels, warmth of soil etc. I remember doing that when I was a child. UPsually spuds like to have the nourishment of a tubour to keep them going when they begin to take root and grow but ... Plants like to grow so keep us posted on what happens to them. 60-70 days is certainly long enough for earlies. What I'd be more concerned about is the lowering light levels as we get less and less daylight each day since the sun turned aroudn at midsummer. Plants know light levels, part of sparks them off to grow, make leaves, flower, fruit, die back so I hope your spuids feel like giving it a go

Did they taste good, the ones you cooked?

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Compostwoman on 4th August 2010, 9:11 am

mmm needs more days really, but worth a try I would think

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Lizbuff13 on 4th August 2010, 3:33 pm

Yes, they tasted wonderful!

Yes, I wondered when I planted them if they could even possibly make a go of it. And I didn't leave much for energy when I trimmed them, which I did think about. I figured, why not, we have lots of room and the plants are pretty, let's see what happens! I will keep you posted!
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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Compostwoman on 4th August 2010, 11:42 pm

if you could cover the plants with some clear cloche? to protect them from frost and keep them warm as long as possible, that would help.

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Guest on 5th August 2010, 5:19 pm

Liz - our Bob Flowerdew grows new potatoes for Christmas and I know old time allotment holders doing the same. The problem is breaking the dormancy...which you have done! You don't need the crop to flower so the lengh of day shouldn't be a problem. Good luck

The yams are a different matter as they need a very long growing season...

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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Chilli-head on 10th August 2010, 11:24 am

I forgot to mention that last year I grew potato "remarka" from the organic garden catalogue - they were huge ! For Chistmas lunch, we had roast potato for four adults. And I mean potato. Only one was needed !
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default Re: Potatoes - what variety do you grow?

Post by Chilli-head on 20th September 2010, 12:09 pm

Ok, I hope you won't mind me heading off topic a little, but rather than "What variety do you grow", this is more of a "what variety will you never grow again" ! I guess that this is a bit negative, but I hope useful ...

Dug the last of the Golden Wonder at the weekend. The plants have looked strong and healthy all summer, so I was expecting good results. Boy was I disappointed Crying or Very sad

This variety is a biological curiosity, It is a "periclinal chimera" with an outer layer of the variety Golden Wonder and an inner core of the variety Langworthy. According to the catalogue, it has good slug resistance. Well, what I actually dug look like you have planted two varieties, some are smooth skinned (pure Langworthy, I guess) and some are, erm "russeted" as the catalogues describe it - or more honestly, look like they have a bad case of scab. They were small, and more slug affected than normal - about 50% with holes. I was tempted to put the lot in the green waste sack.

No surprise that Golden Wonder crisps are not made from their namesake potato. What a waste of effort.
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